First is the lone fabric gift for all three girls: ankle-length circular dance skirts for their various pretend-play and dance recital type scenarios at home.
Probably their absolute favorite items in their old dress-up box are these chiffon dance skirts that I made them long ago. They still wear them all the time even now, and the elastic waists have thankfully accommodated to 5 years of growth.
Here's an old tutorial on how I made those first ones.
In recent years, however, the girls have been gravitating away from ballet and towards ballroom dancing - probably a natural side-effect of their Princess Phase. Consequently, they have been wrapping large scarves around their bodies and legs for makeshift swishy skirts (and layering the old short dance skirts over them). Sometimes it works and sometimes they just cocoon themselves by accident and can't walk, let alone dance. So I decided that they needed proper long circular skirts, that go all the way down to their ankles.
Same method (but diverse fabric - some chiffon, some knit, some satin). The only difference is that Jenna and Emily are now too tall for a full circle to be cut out of even 54" fabric. So there had to be seams (ick) for the longer skirts, which were cut in semicircles and quadrants and joined into a complete donut. This one in the photo below is Kate's, and she was still short enough for hers to be cut out as a full, seamless circle.
One thing I never mentioned in the old circular skirt tutorial is how I joined the ends of the FOE. Many tutorials (and the instructions on the backs of FOE packets) suggest overlapping the ends i.e. attach one free end of the elastic and when you've sewn all around the waistband, overlap the remaining end of the elastic and sew that down on top of the first end. I don't do that, because the ends fray and look hideously untidy and homemade and unpolished. Instead, I sew the ends of the elastic together (RS together) so the elastic forms a complete circle, with the SA of the ends on the WS of the elastic, folded in and tucked away. Then I attach the elastic circle to the waistline of the skirt.
I rolled-hemmed the edges
and made some plain labels so the girls would know what they were getting (as opposed to having to politely say, "Hey! Mum bought us fabric for Christmas!")
Then packaged them in plain plastic bags and wrapped them.
The girls found the packages under the Christmas tree and squeezed them. Kate said, "We all got squishy presents!" After unwrapping them last night, they wore their dance skirts all evening and twirled. I forsee fancy dance recitals in our immediate future!